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Quinoa French Toast with Red Kuri Squash & Mt. Olympus Herbal Tea Ice Cream

Ken Oringer, Clio, Boston, Monica Glass - January 6th, 2014

Ken Oringer is promoting breakfast for dinner at his flagship Boston restaurant, Clio, this winter, with foie gras laqué with milk, honey, and piquillo jam appears on the dinner menu. Pastry chef Monica Glass has contributed to the dessert menu with Le Petit Déjeuner, featuring gluten-free quinoa “French toast” with red kuri squash and Mt. Olympus Herbal Tea ice cream.

Black lemon simple syrup:

  • simple syrup, reduced to 50 percent
  • 1 percent salt
  • 6 black lemons, smashed (see note below)

Combine all ingredients in stockpot and bring to a boil; simmer 30 minutes; strain and discard lemons; reserve syrup.

Braised red kuri:

  • 2 red kuri squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
  1. Heat oven to 425°F.

  2. Braise squash and black lemon syrup in rondeau pan until softened; cool; cut into bite-sized pieces.

Quinoa “French toast”:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/5 cup maple sugar
  • 5 tsps. granulated sugar
  • 5 tsps. maple syrup, grade A
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flour, freshly milled and toasted
  • 5 lg. eggs, separated
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

  2. Prepare sheet tray with parchment and nonstick spray.

  3. Place milk, butter, sugars, syrup, and salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil; slowly whisk in quinoa flour; whisk in egg yolks; cool to room temperature.

  4. In separate bowl, whisk egg whites to medium peaks; fold into quinoa mixture; pour batter into prepared sheet tray; bake until puffy and golden (approximately 18 minutes); remove from oven; cool in refrigerator until firm; cut into 1 1/2” square portions; reserve.

Red kuri confiture:
(Yield: 1 pint)

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups red kuri squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • rice wine vinegar
  • salt

Place sugar in medium saucepan; cover with water until sandy texture is reached; cook until mixture reaches 240˚F on a candy thermometer; add squash; cook until mixture is soft, with the consistency of jam; place mixture in blender; blend until smooth; season with vinegar and salt; strain through fine-mesh chinois; reserve.

Candied pepitas:
(Yield: 1 pint)

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup pepitas, toasted

Combine sugar and salt in sauté pan; add water until sandy texture is reached; cook until mixture reaches 240˚F on candy thermometer; add pepitas; stir until crystallized (you may need to continue stirring off heat to prevent caramelization); spread across nonstick mat to cool; reserve.

Pickled red kuri:
(Yield: 1 quart)

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 1 lemon, zested in strips
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 cassia buds
  • 1 sm. red kuri squash, peeled and sliced thin on a mandoline

Bring all ingredients except squash to a simmer in saucepan; pour liquid over squash strips; chill until fully cooled; reserve.

Mt. Olympus Herbal Tea ice cream:
(Yield: 1 quart)

  • 3 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 2/5 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/5 cup liquid glucose
  • 2 tsps. ice cream stabilizer
  • 2/3 tsp. salt
  • 4 sheets gold gelatin
  • 1 pt. Mt. Olympus Herbal Tea leaves

Combine heavy cream, milk, and milk powder in a saucepan; bring to a simmer; add sugar, glucose, stabilizer, and salt to wet ingredients; return to a boil; simmer approximately 30 seconds; dissolve gelatin; pour mixture over tea leaves; chill in ice bath, allowing syrup to macerate at least 4 hours; strain through fine mesh chinois; process in ice cream machine; reserve.


  • lemon balm leaves (for garnish)

Pan-fry French toast squares over medium heat to warm; place braised red kuri and red kuri confiture in bottom of bowl; top with quinoa toast, followed by a quenelle of ice cream; garnish with pepitas, pickled squash, and lemon balm leaves.

Food Arts Note: Black lemons, also known as loomi, are technically not lemons but fully dried limes. They are used for cooking throughout the Middle East, particularly in Kuwait and Iraq.